As I wrote about in my book, 'When Mars Women Date,' the rules and dating expectations are changing. I have seen this anecdotally for some time now and knew that equality was sweeping over the world of romance but it feels congruent that a current study has supported my findings as a therapist and dating coach.
As many major media outlets have reported, the study surveyed 17,607 unmarried, heterosexual men and women using a questionnaire posted on NBCNews.com. They found:
• 44% of men said they would stop seeing women who never pay for dates.
• 64% of men believed women should pick up from time to time, though 76% said they felt “guilty” saying so.
• 4 in 10 men and women said that dating expenses were usually shared within the first month, and nearly three-fourths (74%) of men and 83% of women said they’re shared by the sixth-month mark.
As women make more money at work and become equal participants in the labor force, should this old custom of 'the man paying' go by the way side?
Growing up, many of us associated chivalry, planning and being treated with romance. This included the hero paying the bill, opening doors and possibly arriving on a steed.
The darker side of this romantic history associates paying the bill with his making all the decisions, being the leader and brave one in the relationship and his buying the woman as a sexual object. It might even connote that she feels 'worthy' if he spends money on her or she could see this as his investment in their relationship. Does this means that if she pays, she is less valuable a person? Or, if she treats him to dinner does that mean he won't be invested in their relationship in other ways?
I think it's high time we questioned the symbolic meaning of our dating etiquette, how we associate money and love and to really take some time to consider what we think love, partnership and romantic relationships should be about.
My Best in Love,